Trade deals and pesticide standards

Thank you to those who contacted me recently about pesticides in future trade deals.

I understand the strength of feeling on this issue. The current high standards of pesticides in the UK safeguards people and the environment from any potential harm, and consumers want to know that these standards will remain. I want to be clear here that I do not support relaxing the UK’s high standards in any new trade agreements. 

I have raised your concerns with colleagues in Government and they have assured me that the UK will not compromise on its high food and environmental standards. If you want to read my comments on maintaining high food standards after leaving the EU, please see my statement here. The use of pesticides will only be permitted where the scientific assessments demonstrate that there is no danger of their use causing harm to people or the environment. 

At the end of the Transition Period, the UK will be in a position to decide its own regulations on pesticides. This will enable the UK to develop its own dynamic system, that will continue to deliver high standards of protection for the environment and people. 

The Government has been engaging with the agricultural sector in trade discussions, including the National Farmers Union. I encourage these engagements to continue and am confident that the concerns of farmers and other parties are well represented to the Government during discussions.

Thank you again to those who took the time to contact me about this.